Well I guess it was bound to happen sometime. I fell out with a couchsurfer. In fact, he kicked me out! A little bit drastic if you ask me but he was a military man, a man of discipline, and he wasn’t taking no prisoners.
I think he had it in for me from the start, asking me if I knew what happened in 1982 and how he’d worked for the Navy at that time, and how since then he’s had something of a special relationship with the English. I don’t know if that’s ever the way you should start the conversation. He kept referring to me as just a kid and how it’s crazy that kids can just go on holiday for a year willy-nilly, without ever really asking me if I was just on vacations or how old I am or anything, so I wasn’t too surprised when he asked me to leave.
I had decided to climb to the top of the nearby glacier. A 5km walk to the top of the hill followed by a 1000km vertical ascent. In my canvas shoes with holes in the soles it wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made, especially since it had been snowing for the past 12 days. About halfway up I realised I had a plastic bag in my backpack and so could stop at least one of my feet from freezing to death, the other unfortunately was going to have to suffer. I didn’t make it to the top, probably about 100m off. The snow was getting too deep and I was started to slip more than ever so decided to call it quits before the summit. Nice walk though.
As soon as I stepped off the snow and onto land a Frenchman drove past and offered me a lift, straight to the door of my couchsurfer. Luis was sleeping so I quickly popped upstairs, grabbed my laptop and headed out again. I wanted to try and make a couple of phone calls to England before night-time across the atlantic seeped in a little too much. As it was, all the cafes in town have useless WiFi that I couldn’t use so spent around an hour or so jumping from one to another before I finally found a connection in a pub on the main road. It was too late to make any calls now but I had quite a lot of work. After a couple of hours of work, with a hamburger break in the middle I headed back to the house. It must have been about 1am before I got back to see Luis sitting in his armchair through the window. He wasn’t happy. He told me to go to sleep and we would discuss it in the morning. In the morning he woke me up by saying “can you please pack your bags and I will take you into the town center?” And that was it. If you ask me he should have just gone to bed instead of waiting up and getting angry, but hey I think maybe he wanted to make a point of something.
It has been a lot harder to find couchsurfers in Patagonia, and this has meant me asking some people I wouldn’t normally, Luis being one of them. I guess it’s just not possible to get on with everyone!